An extensive family
There are around 400 species of cherry, both trees and bushes. The cherry tree can grow up to 15-30m tall and has a diameter of up to 1.2m. The bark on young trees is thin and almost birch-like, but over time it takes on a more cracked appearance, a little like a burnt crisp. The leaves are scattered and slightly oval, with fluted edges. The beautiful, fragrant flowers grow in small clumps of around 40.
Cherry is a stone fruit. The stone sits inside a red to yellowish-red flesh which not only we like to eat! A lot of birds guzzle the berries and spread the cherry for miles around.
Like birch, cherry is known as a pioneer tree, growing after storms, forest fires or deforestation.
Cherry trees are part of the same family as plum and other fruit trees, such as apricots, nectarines and sweet almonds. The berries are best eaten raw, but they can also be used to make compote, jam or candied for use in cocktails.
Cherry has a high vitamin C content and is used to help with a range of conditions, such as gout and skin problems.